The unexpected sweetness of Sandman Slim

I’ve not made it a secret that one of the things that’s gotten me through the past six months of general “what in actual hell is going on?” has been catching up on Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series via audiobooks in my car.

I started reading these shortly after the first one came out–I checked it out of the library along with In Cold Blood and another book with a climax that involved the main character walking barefoot through Hell (I think it was an Orpheus retelling, maybe? But with more blood and demons).  That was quite the month of reading, let me tell you.

But I dug Stark and his revenge quest, so I kept reading them.  And then for whatever reason I got behind on the books, and it occurred to me to see if the library had them on audio–and they did!  Like, all of them!

And McLeod Andrews is exactly what I imagined Stark’s voice to sound like.  (I’ve read a number of news articles about the president in that voice, and as I said on Twitter, if this is the end of democracy, at least it’s being narrated appropriately.)

So I’m on The Perdition Score now, and there was a scene I heard last night that struck me …

(and there will be spoilers below, so tread carefully …)

Continue reading “The unexpected sweetness of Sandman Slim”

Promotions, ahoy!

Jason Kimble has a story on Cast of Wonders today; you can listen to or read “Blood and Water.”

And if you buy Seasonal Affective Disorder today, Karen Sorenson will donate $2 of the cost to Arts In the Armed Forces!

 

shameless other people promotion, evil twin edition!

Jason Kimble has new stuff out!

“Drowning Joys” in Aliterate.  It’s a romance.  After a fashion.  I keep prodding him for another story in this universe, so if you buy the book and read the story, you can also prod him for more.  Join me here in the fandom for this story!

“Technically Magic,” in Transitions and Awakenings.  It’s not a romance, but does have a hookup!  Cute boys hooking up!  And magic and sci-fi mashed up together in the sort of thing your narrator here enjoys.  I love Brody.  He’s such a great mess.

All links go to Amazon, as these are print publications, though you can read a nice chunk of “Technically Magic” via Amazon’s ‘look inside’ thingie if you’d like a preview.

 

stuff Laura’s read recently

I’m working my way through the ‘stories’ file in my Instapaper app, and these are really good:

“And You Shall Know Her By the Trail of Dead”, by Brooke Bolander

This is a whole bunch of my narrative kinks in one profanity-laden story.  No info dumps, complex relationships, chicks with guns … it’s up for a Hugo and a Locus award, and I really want it to win both.

“Covenant”, by Elizabeth Bear

The tag line at Slate is “read a creepy sci-fi short story about fixing murderers’ brains,” and that almost sums it up–I’d say “read a creepy sci-fi short story about fixing murderers’ brains and running.  Also there’s cold.”  This is the second of Bear’s stories that I’ve read recently that kind of glances off gender in interesting ways, though it’s a lot closer to center in this one.

‘Children’s Work’ series, by lookninjas on AO3

A while back, there was a Star Wars AU-meme thing going around on Tumblr about The Force Awakens set in Northern Michigan.  And that led to these two stories (so far) about cults, kids, the end of worlds, parents and family, and identity.  It’s spare and kind of sad and very lovely.

 

Randomnicity, mostly because my thoughts on the Hamilton soundtrack are pretty random right now

So what’s been going on in Laura-land … ?

Thing the First

Whelp, my lovely husband is blogging again, which is a joy.  His blog is a little bit of everything: writing samples, shameless other people promotion, personal stuff. Rants, probably, at some point. His most recent post is–hey!–a lot of random stuff.

And just for the record, he had me try that Switchel thing, and it went like this:

Him:  Try this.

Me:  No.

Him: Oh for–it’s lemonade.

Me:  Okay. (drinks)

Him: Made with vinegar.

Yeah, it was nasty.  You should totally make it and try it.

Anyway, head on over there if you’re interested in reading the blog of that guy I blame for everything.

Thing the Second

Finished listening to the Hamilton soundtrack, and have scattered thoughts that I may blog about later on in more depth …

  • So much of it is about words and writing, and I love that–because I would, yes, but also we forget how much of history and art relies on writing and language.
  • And this musical seems to play with and get off on language in a way that reminds me a bit of Sondheim (and is also connected to the ways the musical is playing and grappling with history).
  • Holy hell, the ambition–and I mean, the ambitions of the characters, yes, but also the ambition of this show, and it’s been a while since I’ve gotten to love something for its ambition without also loving it for and despite its flaws.  Granted, I’ve only heard it and not seen it, but this is really solid (there are a couple of spots where the marriage of hip-hop and theater doesn’t seem happy, but there aren’t many, and I could probably make a case for that reflecting some of the uneasy marriages in the play?  So yeah) and it just soars.
  • Jonathan Groff, you glorious fop, I just don’t even.
  • I love Lafayette and I do not care who knows it.
  • And, you know, I really really liked it a lot, right, and then we hit “It’s Quiet Uptown.”  And I don’t know if I’ve ever heard or seen or read anything that encompasses marriage and pain and grace so well.  And connected to that is the idea that no one ever knows how a marriage works except for the people in it, and Eliza’s movement into and out of Alexander’s narrative, both willingly and not, and her eventual narrative and legacy.  And so that’s the moment I fell.
  • We will not speak of the reprise of “Stay Alive,” okay?  I have a little boy, so that’s a giant nope.

Scott and I are driving to see Jason this weekend, so we’ll have some time in the car for him to hear it, and I really hope he likes it.  I think he will.  The last album we both really got into was Hazards of Love, and it’s been too long since we’ve geeked out about music together.

Thing the Third

Okay, there is no third thing.  So, you know what?  How about some stuff to read?  None of it is new stuff, because I’m currently making my way through Mr. Mercedes and playing Stephen King Trope Bingo, but hey!

  1.  Three Stories, by Karen Sorenson – Three interconnected short stories about family, love, and the slow process of moving on.
  2. Hide Behind, by Jason Kimble – “It’s never gonna fruit ‘cause you stole it.” (It’s never too early to get in that Halloween mood, and this will do it.)
  3. The Cursed Headdress, by Your Humble Narrator – Because why not, right?  I call this one my Hellboy homage–the Teachouts and (another) Lovecraftian nightmare.

shameless other people promotion!

Time for SHAMELESS OTHER PEOPLE PROMOTION, part the four millionth!

My evil twin, Jason Kimble, has a story in this issue of The Sockdolager.  “Hide Behind” is part of his reworked American folklore series (we call it the “Tall” series between ourselves, but I don’t know if that’s official or anything), and it is the absolute creepiest thing he’s written.  Like, A+ atmosphere, really.

It appears that the DRM-free version of the e-zine is pay what you want, and there’s a print edition, too, if you like your books in your hands.

UPDATE:  You can actually read it online for free here.  (I swear that link wasn’t live when I posted?)